DPP moves to clear culpable homicide cases

DPP moves to clear culpable homicide cases

By Senate Sekotlo and Justice Maqelepo

MASERU

THE Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Leaba Thetsane, has issued a directive to clear all culpable homicide cases that have been pending in the courts by the end of July.

Chief Magistrate ‘Matankiso Nthunya is expected to appoint five magistrates to deal with 123 culpable homicide cases that Thetsane will take to court in July in the Maseru magistrates’ court.

The cases are those filed in court from 2012 to date.

The magistracy’s spokesperson ’Mampota Phakoe said Nthunya will chair a meeting for all concerned to discuss issues relating to Thetsane’s directive next week.

Stakeholders are the police, the DPP, the Law Society of Lesotho and the Lesotho Correctional Service.

The police are expected to serve witnesses as quick as possible, which means they will have to go throughout the country searching for the witnesses.

The police will also have to arrest those who are refusing to go to court when they have been subpoenaed and bring them to the magistrate’s court for the cases to proceed.

Other witnesses will have to be fetched from outside the country.

For the session to be effective, stakeholders whether they are the police, the crown, defence lawyers and the Lesotho Correctional Services officers are expected to focus on the cases.

Phakoe said the move seeks to address the public outcry that there are a lot of unattended, unresolved murder cases in the courts.

A list of over hundred cases is likely to be out next week.

Phakoe told thepost that since the police will have to coordinate witnesses countrywide so that they can come and give evidence in court, the magistracy will have to lend them some of their cars to speed up the process.

The Law Society of Lesotho, Phakoe indicated, will be of great help in helping lawyers focus on the cases.

“In actual fact, this work is spear-headed by the crown and the police,” Phakoe said.

Phakoe said families of people who have been killed have for long been waiting for justice’s wheels to roll while those who stand accused have been waiting to know their fate.

She said because of the long list of cases to be heard and the limited time, she could not rule out a possibility of an extension beyond the month of July.

“We might just be concerned that there are many cases only to find out that they are those cases which have not been removed from the roll,” she said.

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